I haven’t updated my blog since December and had been toying with a few different ideas about what to write for my first post of 2014…..Last Wednesday I attended a spiritual group discussion where the concept of Hoʻoponopono was discussed. It is an ancient Hawaiian practice of forgiveness and reconciliation; now modernised and used as a way of clearing issues or a process of making right. It is based on the concept that we are responsible 100% for whatever happens in our world. And the clearing is done using four statements; simple yet powerful.
- I am sorry
- Please forgive me
- I love you
- Thank you
An example of it’s use is when we come across a problem in the big wide world such as hearing about someone who has had an accident; something we would ordinarily assume had nothing to do with us and upon hearing we would normally express our sympathy…based on the concept of Hoʻoponopono we assume that we have had something to do with the particular incident and ask for forgiveness. We repeat the four statements until we’d feel a shift in energies which indicates that clearing had taken place. The results can both be immediate and longer term.
During the discussion last week one person mentioned how they had used it successfully in a conflict situation with someone at work. The simple act of accepting responsibility and asking for forgiveness by using the statements on the way to work one day changed the situation so completely that when they got to work, they found that the person was no longer difficult to deal with. Hoʻoponopono is based on acting out of love and not fear. It means we don’t resist what is happening to us and instead accept that it is something we are responsible for. When we use Hoʻoponopono we are not dictating what should happen; instead we ask the Universe to decide the best way forward and all we do is make peace with it. That way, whatever the outcome we have worked through our own emotions regarding it.
The Englishman attended this discussion with me and we both participated in the group meditation and Hoʻoponopono that was conducted. It had been a difficult evening where during dinner, we had discussed a potentially explosive issue; changing the way we paid for joint activities. Up until the start of this year, we had taken turns paying for the multitude of things we did in our time together. But this often meant we did not keep to a budget and some months I found myself spending a lot more than I could afford. Some months ago, I had proposed we both put in some money each month and make joint decisions about what activities we did. For the Englishman who had been burnt in the financial sense during his marriage, this was a very sensitive issue and nothing had really come of my suggestion. But given we were heading into a new year, I thought it was an appropriate time to start down this track. As he had not voiced any strong objections to it, I assumed (wrongly as it turned out) that it was simply a matter of me telling him that I had put x number of dollars into a prepaid credit card I owned and could he do the same when he got paid this month. I did not ask and nor did give him an opportunity to raise any objections. So during dinner that night, he indicated his objections obliquely by stating that since he mostly used a credit card for his expenses, my way of doing the joint spending was not practical for him.
That was when I understood that to him it was more than just putting some money into my account; it was making a statement about our relationship. Something I had not really considered from where I stood. To me, it was a practical solution and doing it that way gave me the ability to pay my fair share of our expenses without always having to overspend to stay ahead of him. I won’t bore you with the details. Things got very tense and emotional and in the next 24 hours after we did the Hoʻoponopono, we almost came to breaking point. Issues that had long troubled both of us came out into the open. More than a few times in that time period we very nearly walked away from each other. Somehow we managed not to do it. We spent the next night apart and met on Friday evening. And you have to be there to believe it, but things had shifted very dramatically. We were two totally different people to who we had been just two days prior. There was no more tenseness or negative emotions. No more angst. Everything felt calm. And the only thing I can credit for that immense clearing is the Hoʻoponopono we practiced many many times in those first terrible 24 hours.
It is not a magic bullet and does not solve all your problems all at once. Since then, we both have had to keep reminding each other to act out of love and not fear when we find ourselves falling into old patterns. And since last week, I have said the Hoʻoponopono mantra many times. Life is not perfect, but it is certainly calmer. Things that would have bothered us a mere week ago, we seem to negotiate with new found ability. And if we keep doing it, it can only get better.
I encourage you to use this concept for yourself. There are many resources online to help you. And if you have used it before, I would love to hear about your own experiences with it.
The next step for me is to use it to resolve the issues I have had with Jacob’s schooling……..